The statewide health care organization AboutHealth was established July 14, and just ahead of the one-year anniversary its leaders gathered together for the first time publicly to discuss their motivations and objectives. The event, geared at C-suite business leaders and health benefits decision-makers, took place Friday at the Wisconsin Club.
AboutHealth is comprised of eight health systems: Aspirus, Aurora Health Care, Bellin Health, Gundersen Health System, Marshfield Clinic Health System, ProHealth Care, ThedaCare and UW Health. Together, their net revenues are $11 billion, their service areas cover 94 percent of the population, and they encompass 23 percent of Wisconsin hospitals.
During the panel discussion, Gundersen chief executive officer Dr. Jeffrey Thompson said his health system decided to join AboutHealth because the collaboration helps to achieve the “triple aim”: improving the quality of health care delivery, lowering costs to deliver care, and improving the health of the population.
“We looked for partners with the same goals, values and hopes to get better faster, and we believe we can do that better together than separately,” Thompson said.
Susan Edwards, president and CEO of ProHealth Care, also was attracted to AboutHealth because of the collaboration.
In fact, ProHealth Care is partnering with fellow AboutHealth members UW Health and Aurora on its new Pewaukee cancer center, which was recently named UW Cancer Center at ProHealth Care.
“We look for partners that see the world the way we do,” Edwards said. “Our ability to come together and collaborate in meaningful ways allows us to accelerate and improve.”
AboutHealth’s integrated care delivery model will be beneficial, according to Aurora Health Care president and CEO Dr. Nick Turkal, because of the increase in patient access and convenience and the aggregation of data.
As for employer relationships, Bellin president and CEO George Kerwin said the AboutHealth collaboration will not change how those are cultivated. Each health system has extensive knowledge of the people in the markets they serve, and they all work with employers to help them purchase health insurance and to deliver solutions like onsite services or onsite clinics.
“(Employers) can expect that what you want to accomplish, AboutHealth will work with you and help you to accomplish those needs,” Kerwin said.